The first in my series of previews of the National League Central Division. The system, I will use to determine the best team in the division will be to rank the starters at each offensive position, including top-5 starters and the closer. The best will receive 6 points, and down to just 1 point given out to the worst starting player at that position in the division. At the end I will total the points up to see who is the best team (and whether this system is actually a viable preview method). So let’s go find out!
The debate has raged for awhile. Can the Cardinals build from within? Is Jeff Luhnow doing a good job? Overall opinion of the Cardinals minor league system has been down for some time. Part of that is because it was standard operating procedure for the Cardinals to usually trade valuable minor leaguers for veteran talent to fill out the major league roster.
While there is no way to quantitatively measure the production of our minor league system, one can look at who was produced, how long it took them to produce, and how old they were when they got to the major leagues.
So just who is Maikel Cleto?
Cleto is a 21 year old right handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic. He has a power arm that can throw in the high-90s, however, the main complaint on him is that his fastball has no movement. His second pitch is a slider that needs a lot of work.
The Cardinals have stated their desire to acquire a backup catcher for their 2011 roster. In contrast to previous seasons where Jason LaRue was the backup catcher to simply because of his defensive skill and not his offensive ability, the Cardinals have said that they want someone who can handle the bat.
I’m a firm believer that the Cardinals need to have a solid backup catcher. Personally, with the wear and tear on Yadier Molina the past two seasons from playing virtually every day over the course of the season, I’m afraid that he is going to break down very soon. So we need someone who is worth of starting 30-40 games at catcher.
Broderick, 24, led the Cardinals’ minor league system with 14 victories last season between A+ Palm Beach and AA Springfield. Overall he posted a 3.66 ERA with a 14-7 record in 26 starts. Though those stats are averaged down due to a poor start in Palm Beach, he was 11-2 with a 2.77 ERA at AA. He also had a 1.09 WHIP at AA. He was drafted in the 21st round by the Cardinals in 2007.